Christmas tree made of plastic bottles in Mozambique - In Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, a Christmas tree made of 3,000 plastic bottles has been put on display outside a hospital. The tree was created to encourage recycling, thanks hospital staff and to encourage COVID-19 patients. Its six meters tall and sits in front of the Maputo Central Hospital’s emergency ward.
Algerian prime ministers sentenced - Former Algerian Prime Ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal were sentenced to five years in prison on corruption charges. The two are accused of having ties to directors of a telecoms company. They served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and were already convicted and jailed for another corruption case.
Prison riot kills eight - In Sri Lanka, guards and inmates in a prison clashed in a riot, resulting in the death of eight people. At least 52 others were injured as inmates demanded for early release on bail and for better facilities amid the pandemic. There have been nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases reported in prisons in the country that are considered to be crowded.
Australia seeks apology from China - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Beijing should be ashamed for posting a fake picture on a government Twitter account that showed an Australian soldier murdering a child from Afghanistan. Recently, a report found that 25 Australian soldiers murdered 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2009 and 2013. Australia is investigating the report as tensions between China and Australia have risen.
Italy fines Apple - Italy fined Apple nearly $12 million for claims that iPhones are water resistant. AGCM< a national competition authority, said Apple not covering water damage under a warranty to an iPhone is an aggressive practice. Apple has yet to respond to the fine.
France to rework police bill - After protests over the weekend, France plans to rewrite a security bill. French residents have been protesting over a police assault on a Black man. Four policemen are under investigation for beating a Black music producer. The current security bill makes it a criminal offense to publish images of on-duty police with the intent to harm their integrity.
Indigenous leader wins environmental award - Nemonte Nenquimo, an indigenous leader from the Ecuadorean Amazon, has won the Goldman environmental prize for her grassroots activism. She protected 500,000 acres of rainforest from oil extraction and took the Ecuadorean government to court for its plans to put her Waorani indigenous group’s territory up for sale. The group’s 2019 court victory was an important milestone for indigenous rights.
Diego Maradona’s doctor under investigation - Diego Maradona, an iconic soccer player for Argentina, recently passed away from a heart attack at his home. But now, Argentine prosecutors are investigating his doctor for possible manslaughter. The doctor, Leopoldo Luque, recently had his house searched by police as law officials work to understand Maradona’s last days. Luque denied any wrongdoing.
COVID-19 vaccine update - Moderna has taken a step toward getting its COVID-19 vaccine to the public as it has filed for US and European emergency regulation approval. Regulators will now look at trial data to determine if the vaccine is safe and effective enough to distribute. The vaccine has shown to be more than 94 percent effective in preventing people from getting sick with the virus.
Janet Yellen named US treasury secretary - President-elect Joe Biden has named Janet Yellen as his nominee for treasury secretary. Yellen is the former Federal Reserve chair and if confirmed to the position, would be the first woman to ever be treasury secretary. Yellen is 74 and is credited for helping the country navigate through the 2007 financial crisis.